Thursday, February 24, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Spa Utopia #1: Our Linens Department is a busy place!

Spa Utopia linen delivery vans are kept busy

With close to 10,000 spa guests a month, in addition to guests of our two Utopia Academy locations, Spa Utopia requires a lot of freshly laundered linens. Our Linens Department is therefore a very busy place! Laundering an average 195,000 pounds of towels, robes, wraps and other linens from three spa locations and two Utopia Academy campuses every month means the staff of 12—including Linens Manager Anne—are kept busy sorting, laundering and folding all the linens that help keep our spa guests warm, dry and comfortable.

Linens Manager Anne with Spa Utopia Body Wraps

The day begins at 7 a.m., when four staff members are met with close to 165 bags of used linens from all five locations. Then begins the busy task of sorting the linens for one location at a time, using colour coding to ensure that the linens are not mixed up. (This is important because spa robes often contain personal items that a guest has inadvertently left in a pocket and we want to make sure we return these safely to the correct location.) The laundry is in full operation seven days a week.

Five washers have a combined capacity of 375 pounds

Next, the linens are pre-treated with special solutions that remove all the soil gathered in the course of a spa day, such as essential oils, mud, seaweed, tea or coffee stains, and shea butter. After this, they're placed in one of five industrial washers with capacities as great as 100 pounds. The detergents and bleach/other treatments are dispensed via tubing, and customized to each load. (We wouldn't want the luxurious black towels used by our Utopia hair salons to be bleached like our face cloths!) After washing and drying, the linens are inspected, folded and counted before being sealed in bio-degradable plastic bags and placed in bins for their return journey. Washing so much linen requires a lot of cleaning solutions/detergents—approximately 480 litres a month. The daily lint accumulation from so much laundry is enough to stuff several cushions.

Folding and bagging clean linens

And just what are those objects spa guests most commonly leave in the pockets of their microfleece robes?  Linens Manager Anne has a smile when she answers. Lacy underthings are common, as are cellphones and Blackberries, jewellery (including engagement rings and diamond necklaces), hair elastics, tea bags and a variety of nuts and dried fruits. "We have to make sure that every pocket of every robe is turned inside out and carefully inspected," she explains. "Not only do we find items that could stain linens in the wash, but also tiny stud earrings and other jewellery pieces that can easily get caught in seams. We can't be too careful."
Clean and cozy, Spa Utopia robes are ready for their homeward journey

Retweet this: I want to win a microfibre robe from @spautopia so I can snuggle up and relax at home in style! or leave your comment below for a chance to WIN a super cozy microfibre Spa Utopia robe.

...OR, you can order yours today from our on-line shopping cart and SAVE 25% ( online offer only, while supplies last).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making a difference: Sarah donates her hair

"A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove. But the world may be different, because I was important in the life of a child." * Forest E. Witcraft (1894 - 1967)

Making a difference in the life of a child is of utmost importance to Camosun College student, Sarah, pictured here with Mot, hair designer at Spa Utopia and Salon's Pan Pacific location. Sarah is passionate about helping people and making a difference—especially to the lives of children. She believes in miracles, and that we can create them for ourselves and for others. Sarah's desire to make a difference came into play recently when she decided to donate her long, shiny hair to make one or more wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of medical treatment.

The haircutting event took place early February at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, where four REALTORS® with RE/MAXJohn Dick - Okatoks, Margaret O’Connor - Okatoks, Christine Chorney - Edmonton and Sharon Black - Kelowna—held an event prior to the RE/MAX of Western Canada Convention, to raise funds for BC Children's Hospital, in association with the Children's Miracle Network.

First, Mot divided Sarah's hair into ponytails to make sure the donated hair was at least the minimum length of 10". Then with a few careful snips, and a lot of supportive cheers, Sarah's donation was complete.

Not so for her hairstyle, however! The following day, Sarah was invited to Spa Utopia and Salon, where Mot cut and designed Sarah's hair into a stylish textured shag, which she'll be showing off at her upcoming wedding.

Spa Utopia would like to congratulate all who took part in this worthwhile event, and especially to Sarah, whose generosity of spirit will surely take her very far and bring many positive changes in the lives of others.

* Original quote, "...because I was important in the life of a boy," has been changed over time to include both sexes. Forest E. Witcraft was a respected Boy Scout leader, who wrote the essay Within My Power, in which this quote first appeared.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spa Utopia and Salon welcomes new and talented hair designers

Spa Utopia and Salon is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for those "in the know." Due to the growing demand for our cutting, styling and colour services, we have recently welcomed new stylists to our North Vancouver and Langley salons. As regular salon guests already know, all our stylists are licensed professionals with advanced training and many have won awards for their excellence in all aspects of hair design. Our dedicated designers have also successfully completed  Spa Utopia’s in-house training, to ensure the exceptional service and care you can expect when visiting one of our salon locations. Each designer is committed to advanced education in colouring, cutting and chemical applications to ensure our guests enjoy the most current and fashion forward hair trends.

We warmly welcome to our Langley location: Master Designers Jay and Charlene, Senior Designer Bernadine, and Designers Jaclyn and Claudia.

...and to our North Vancouver location:  Master Designers Andrew (Salon Department Head), Nancy and Chris, and Senior Designers Stephanie and Jessica.

Our new stylists are looking forward to attending to your specific hair-care and styling needs. We are therefore offering a 30% discount on bookings with specific stylists for a limited time, to allow you to meet and experience our very talented hair experts.

At Spa Utopia and Salon we pride ourselves on providing an unmatched cut/styling/colour experience, along with all the little extras that make your visit memorable. Our guests are provided with complimentary beverages, and enjoy a scalp massage and makeup touch-up, if desired, as part of their service. Spa Utopia and Salon locations are open seven days a week and some evenings (please check with your local salon or our website for hours of operation).

For more information on the many specialized services offered at our salon locations, please visit the Spa Utopia website.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Utopia Academy offers new part time Medical Esthetics Laser Hair Removal program

Keeping up with all the advances in beauty treatments can be daunting! Magazines, TV news spots, and Internet forums all provide the education and desire in beauty-conscious women—and men—to look their very best, using the very latest techniques and technology.

Laser Hair Removal is growing in popularity as more and more women desire petal-soft skin free from stubble or having to let their hairs grow 1/4" or so before waxing. As a result, skilled estheticians who can perform Laser Hair Removal are more in demand than ever and enjoy increased earnings potential.

If you are a licensed esthetician or nurse interested in learning the technique of Laser Hair Removal, you may be interested to know of  Utopia Academy's new part-time Medical Esthetics Laser Hair Removal program.

The program will provide you with comprehensive information the practical skills to perform safe and effective permanent hair reduction treatments on the face and body.

The 32-hour Laser Hair Removal training course is hands on and provides learning in a structured yet fun environment. Utopia Academy's esthetics programs are fully accredited by the Private Career Training Institutions Association (PCTIA). Start dates for the program are April, May, October and November.

For more details on how you can become fully proficient in laser hair removal and benefit from the growing demand and increased earning potential for estheticians/nurses with this skill, please check out the Utopia Academy website.